CLEVELAND, July 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey announced today by Forest City in partnership with Alexander Babbage finds that shopping ranks as a favorite activity among nearly half of all teens and young adults aged 13 to 24. Shopping at malls ranked above a virtual shopping experience among the entire group, with the 13-to-17-year-old age group showing the strongest preference for a bricks-and-mortar shopping experience.
And, what's shaping the young shoppers' decisions? Of the key shopping influences, friends and in-store displays topped the list. In fact, the study found that young shoppers are four times more likely to be influenced by friends and three times more likely to be influenced by in-store displays than by social media.
The survey also found that teens and young adults are more deal-oriented than generally expected. In addition to finding a deal, young shoppers seek an experience that delivers individuality, authenticity and uniqueness. Results also show that teens and young adults visit large shopping centers more frequently and spend more money there than at any other virtual or physical shopping venue. Specifically, the survey found that 71 percent of monthly expenditures by 13-to-17-year-olds and 69 percent by 18-to-24-year-olds are made in bricks-and-mortar shopping locations.
In addition to music, movies and video games, 46 percent of teens and young adults cited shopping as one of their favorite activities.
The survey also found that 13-to-17-year-olds are less brand-centric and more price-sensitive than 18-to-24-year-olds. However, both groups prefer sales and discounts over other tested ways to enhance their bricks-and-mortar shopping experience. Gift card incentives ranked especially high among this age group, followed by sales at favorite retailers. The 13-to-17-year-old group showed a stronger interest in using malls as places to "hang out," compared with the 18-to-24-year-old age group.
"This generation grew up during the recession, a time when everyone was trying to cut costs, including their parents," said Jane Lisy, Forest City's Senior Vice President of Marketing. "Even though our economy is now recovering, these deal-seeking habits are still important to young shoppers."
Personalization and individuality also ranked highly among teens and young adults when it came to their shopping experience. Nearly 65 percent said the ability to personalize their clothes, shoes and accessories had a positive impact on their overall shopping experience.
"Young shoppers want an experience that provides a combination of personalization and convenience," Lisy added. "Fashion is a way for them to show their individuality, so being able to purchase customized items is very important to them."
The survey also revealed data on the role of mobile, social and digital media in the shopping experience. While most young adults indicated that using a mobile device is the least preferred way to shop online, they also said the ability to use mobile devices to receive offers and information positively affects the shopping center experience. Email communication was revealed as the preferred medium for fashion, brand and retail information.
"It's important for brick-and-mortar stores to incorporate mobile devices into their marketing strategies," Lisy said. "Although teens and young adults do not prefer to use their phones to purchase items, they do like to use mobile devices to get special offers, compare prices and share with friends.
The online survey of more than 1,000 teens and young adults ranging from ages 13 to 24 was conducted by Alexander Babbage in partnership with Forest City Enterprises, Inc.
About Forest City
Forest City Enterprises, Inc. is a NYSE-listed national real estate company with $8.9 billion in total assets. The company is principally engaged in the ownership, development, management and acquisition of commercial and residential real estate throughout the United States. For more information, visit www.forestcity.net.
About Alexander Babbage
Alexander Babbage is the leader in Integrated Customer Insights – a proprietary approach to combining consumer research, trade area information and big data to grow revenue, profit and shopper loyalty. Babbage takes an integrated approach to organizing information which helps drive agreement among the different lines of business. This approach enables our clients clearly understand which specific actions to take, and the order in which to take them, to drive the business forward.
With more than 30 years' experience understanding the shopper and how to maximize their impact, Alexander Babbage is the first choice for clients who want to grow their business. We work with clients throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean across multiple formats including retail, shopping centers, major league sports, restaurants, healthcare, banking and arts and entertainment.
SOURCE Forest City Enterprises, Inc.